Christian homesteading is more than just being a believer in God’s Word who also desires to grow their own food and live off the land.
We are part of a movement of Christians all over the country coming together to support, encourage, and sharpen each other. A people who value hard work and a slower pace in the middle of a modern world full of conveniences. We choose to to separate ourselves from the broken system of our modern society.
The Christian homesteader should be truly passionate about Jesus Christ. And their relationship with Him and other believers is no longer confined to church buildings.
There are multiple Scripture verses that support the idea of simple living and raising a homestead family, but one of my favorite Bible verses is 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12:
“Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. Then people who are not believers will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others.”
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Our Christian Homesteading Story: Movement Toward Community
We are truly blessed to be surrounded by a community of homesteaders who share a Christian perspective. How we got to be here, with our people, is one of my favorite things to talk about regarding our homesteading journey.
Stephen and I got married in 2011. He moved in with me to a little house in the city that I bought while I was in college about 3 years earlier. At the time I liked city life… I grew up in a smaller town so being in a bigger city so close to everything felt novel, I guess.
Then we started having kids and our dreams slowly changed. We were already best friends with another couple we led worship with at our church, where my dad was the pastor. This couple lived the next county over, out in the country on his parents acreage (in a trailer at the time).
A (the wife of this couple) was the one who really first got me into natural living. The more I dove into holistic health, the more passionate about it I became. Our families had so much in common, and we spent a lot of time dreaming together.
The Start of our Christian Homesteading Community
One night we were over at their house and they said they really wanted to deed us 1 of the 5 beautiful acres they would eventually receive as part of their inheritance. They wanted us to be neighbors and homestead together. At first I wasn’t sure about the whole idea. But the more Stephen and I talked about it, the more I knew this was where God was leading us.
Who knew that surveying, getting utilities, and building a house on raw land costs money! We were determined to build our own homestead debt free, using reclaimed materials. During this time we (and by we I mean our men) spent hundreds of hours tearing down old barns for no pay, just so that we could have the barn wood to build our houses with. (That’s where our “Rock City” sign came from.)
Home Before We Knew It Was Home
So… in 2013 or 2014 N’s (the husband’s) brother and next-door neighbor decided to sell his house on 1 acre. Our friends were so ready to get out of that trailer that they started thinking about buying it. We ended up walking through it with them one night. It was such a cute house, and I was so excited for them, but l also remember just wishing that WE could buy it and start living out here.
A and N ended up offering on it what they could, but didn’t get it (that’s a whole other story). The property ended up being sold to a single guy who let his goats and chickens run all over the house… ha.
Then in late 2014 my parents made a seemingly random decision. They were considering selling the house I grew up in, the one they thought was their forever home.
They came across a property that connected to N’s parents. Not intending to intentionally move out here, God just lined it up perfectly.
So at this point, we’re still stuck in the city, my parents were out here living our dream, and none of us really had any money. But we were chomping at the bit to GO.
Moving Forward (Or So We Thought)
We got to the point where we had pretty much stored up enough reclaimed materials for our future house, and the surveyor was scheduled to go and mark off the land so it could be properly deeded. We talked ourselves into going ahead and listing our current house, moving in with my parents for a few months and saving the rest of the money we would need to build.
I think I convinced Stephen that since we wouldn’t be paying a mortgage and utilities, it would only take 3-6 months before we were able to get something built that we could move into.
Boy, was I very wrong.
We listed our house in October of 2015 and it went under contract almost immediately. So we started getting ready to move.
We got out here with my parents, and I guess one could say our plans started going downhill…
Roadblocks To Our Homesteading Dreams
The contract on our house fell through immediately after we moved in with my parents. Then, less than 2 months later, we found out I was pregnant with our third baby.
The surveyor kept pushing back the date/being a no-show.
I wasn’t able to help with our real estate business as much being pregnant and already having 2 toddlers, and deal after deal kept falling through—which meant no income for us.
Our house sat on the market for another several months. By the time we finally sold it, we were on the brink of foreclosure. Making very little off the sale, we weren’t at all in a position to move forward with the construction of our new home.
But even if we could, it wouldn’t have mattered because we still didn’t technically own any land!
None of this was anyone’s fault, we were just having issues with the surveyor and the county. A and N were struggling with the whole situation as well, raising 4 small children in a singlewide trailer that was quite literally falling apart.
The Lord was testing our faith.
And Even More Roadblocks… But Necessary Ones
2016 was honestly a blur. We moved to exclusively having house church at my parents, since my dad was the pastor. (Before that we were a Vineyard church that met in the city.) There were some new families around our age coming in to the fold, and they shared our desire to learn how to homestead. They would be the ones to grow our Christian homesteading community even more.
Stephen got another full time job in addition to real estate. Our third son was born. We knew that at this point, our plans for a house and homestead was in God’s hands.
We had three kids under 5, living in 2 tiny bedrooms in my parents house. Then, at the end of that year, we found out my dad had esophageal cancer.
Near the beginning of 2017, N’s parents said they wanted to offer him their personal house + 5 acres at a crazy discounted price. It would eliminate their need to build and get them moved much quicker.
We were excited for them… but what about us? That tract was laid out much differently. Meaning, it would have been basically impossible for us to get a buildable acre.
N and A were asking the same questions as they spent some time praying about what to do. Then, within a couple of weeks, they got some very unexpected news…
The House We Never Expected
Remember the house I had wished we could buy a few years prior? Well, the guy that had bought it wanted to sell, after only being here for a year and a half.
It was right in between Nate and Alli’s trailer, and the house they were now considering buying. On one perfectly flat acre, with an amazing lake view.
Problem was, we had no idea how we were going to get it without the money for a decent down payment. And even if we did, we really wanted to convince the seller to owner finance.
And then, I kid you not: a few days later we got a check in the mail. It was exactly what we would need for a 25% down payment. I had a relative that had passed away a few months earlier, and she left a pretty large sum of money in a trust.
Things were falling into place, fast, and not the way we expected! My dad was actually getting better, too. By summer of 2017, he got report that there had been “complete resolution” of his tumor.
It took some convincing, but we got the seller to owner finance with some amazing terms. He didn’t want to move right away, so we set our closing date for 3 months out.
The Final Push Toward Our “Christian Homesteading” Dreams
Then in September, we found out Dad’s cancer had come back, and this time it was even more aggressive. We prayed for healing, but it didn’t come in the way we expected it to.
For A and N, there were a lot of hoops to jump through regarding getting a survey and a loan. But after everything was said and done, we both managed to close on our new homes within a week of each other.
And about a week after that, my dad died.
A few months prior to his death, Dad told N and A that he believed they were to lead our church body when the time came. But none of us believed that time would come as soon as it did.
The Building Of a Christian Homesteading Community
Over the last 5 years that we’ve been on this property, other friends have bought land that either connects or is very close by. It’s caused our Christian homesteading community to grow in amazing ways. In 2018 we renovated a large garage on the property into our church meeting place.
It’s such a blessing to call my best friends my neighbors; to be doing life with them. We had a big community garden on my mom’s property the last couple of years. I see these people multiple times a week. They actually are helping me raise my children, and I do my best to do the same for them. We have “community work days”, trade skills and goods, and build each other up spiritually. It’s awesome.
This is our story of community, of depending on God and His creation, of simply loving and living.
Resources for Newer Christian Homesteaders
Aspiring to start a family homestead and live a simple lifestyle? Here are some helpful educational resources, books, and articles to get you started on your journey:
The School of Traditional Skills
Homesteading Without Land
Easy Growing Health
The Grace-Filled Homestead
Homestead Anywhere: The Ebook
Tiffany is a mama to four boys, second generation homeschooler, and college graduate with degrees in both music and business. Now, she is a natural living and homestead enthusiast who loves gardening and raising chickens, pigs, and cows. A lifelong believer in Jesus, she has a burning desire to bring Him glory in everything she does. A worship leader and musician, she also loves to write songs and play the piano in what spare time she finds.
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